Alpaca fleece is the natural fiber harvested from an alpaca. It is light or heavy in weight, depending on how it is spun. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. While similar to sheep’s wool, it is warmer, not prickly, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite. Its softness comes from having a different smoother scale surface than sheep wool. American breeders have enhanced the softness by selecting for finer fiber diameter fiber, similar to merino wool. Fiber diameter is a highly inherited trait in both alpaca and sheep. The difference in the individual fiber scales compared to sheep wool also creates the glossy shine which is prized in alpaca. Alpaca fibers have a higher tensile strength than wool fibers. The preparing, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing process of alpaca is very similar to the process used for wool. The alpaca has a very fine and light fleece. It does not retain water, is thermal even when wet and can resist solar radiation effectively. These characteristics guarantee the animals a permanent and appropriate coat to protect against extreme changes of temperature. This fiber offers the same protection to humans.